The Loss That Keeps On Giving
My father wasn't young when the diagnosis came through that he did in fact have cancer. And being that he is who he is, it was also no surprise that it was a rare form known as non hodgkins lymphoma that had a less than hopeful treat and defeat rate.
He battled on for as long as he could muster, but the cancer overtook him in June of '98. He had always been an emotionally reserved man. Therefore none of his children felt particularly close with him. Some might say that this was in fact, a good thing, then perhaps the loss would be easier to take. Unfortunately, I personally think it made it all the more difficult.
Feelings of guilt and abandonment, for not truly knowing him, anger for him not trying harder to know us or show us that he loved us. All these heavy emotions unraveled now with nowhere to point them. It nearly tore what was left of our family apart, at the time.
However, God surely does work in mysterious ways, and while at that point in our lives things seemed so thickly hopeless. The situations and choices made from that point on have lead my brother, sister and myself down paths that thankfully drew us closer together the farther we thought we had gotten away.
It forced us to take a good look at life, and where ours were heading. And while at the time, we all chose to sort of set out on our own path, isolated from the rest, closed off to the pain. Eventually, we have each come to places now where we have been molded into people who are ready to reopen the door on that period of our lives and share with each other how the other one truly felt.
It has not only brought us closer, but also peace, understanding and most of all closure in some form or another. Years of resentment for parts we played in each other's stories surfaced, and was able to be laid on the table, discussed, forgiven and finally tossed away.
It is a sad tale, that three people must lose a father in order for them to realize just how much they really need each other. But it is our tale none the less. And I would not change anything about it for the world.
There is a light at the end, but sometimes it's just a really, really long tunnel.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thank you Joey, for such a beautiful, heart-felt story. You have very effectively illustrated the value that can sometimes be found in loss. Your contribution here will help a lot of people. So, in your words, "The Loss That Keeps On Giving" will continue to give and give. I thank you, on behalf of myself and all of the future visitors who read your well-chosen words.